Skip navigation
All Places > Silicon Valley User Group > Blog > Author: 503a315d7597f1335caef256999daefade75e4f5

Let’s talk about spam. No matter how many times you unsubscribe, the emails keep piling up. How can you make sure your email nurture campaign doesn’t end up as just more spam?

Well thought out nurture programs won’t start a nervous twitch in your prospect’s face when they open their inboxes. A good email nurture is almost as good as a Christmas present -- but delivered to your prospect’s inbox...a couple of times a month.

So let’s get to it. Here are the 5 types of email nurture programs that are bound to nudge your prospects along the funnel without getting on their nerves:

Basic cold lead nurture

Introduce your company and product to fresh new prospects with no more than 5 emails. If they don’t respond to the first 5, chances are they won’t respond to any others either.

A good sequence to follow looks like this:

  • Intro to the company and the product
  • A research report/press article
  • What customers say/case studies
  • Product brochure/free trial/demo
  • Break up email


A best practice is to target a few different segments (2 or 3) with slightly personalized content specific to industry use cases or specific titles -- case studies, examples, etc.

    1. 2-3 streams targeting 2-3 segments with slightly personalized content (i.e. specific industry use cases and case studies, if you are targeting specific industries)
    2. Secondary CTA could be white papers, e-books, any other assets that people wouldn’t mind exchanging their email address for


On-demand email series


These assets can also be marketed in paid advertising programs, promoted on the website, and are a great lead gen vehicle.

    1. Choose a topic that people want to learn about and put a short timeline on it (i.e. Learn about email nurturing in 2 weeks)
    2. Build a landing page with the opt in form describing what this program will give them (i.e. Subscribe to this email series and learn how to build the best nurture programs, outbound emails, and newsletters) and a form
    3. Set up a program in your marketing automation system dropping them into the email drip campaign once they fill out the form
    4. Schedule the stream to send an email to participants every 2 days or so
    5. Include upcoming topics at the end of each email so that people knew what to expect and look forward to


RSS-based digests:

RSS based digests are a great way to nurture leads that opt in to your updates. At BetterWorks, we use Perkuto’s Digesto for this.

Start by putting up a form up on your blog for people to sign up for updates with the latest content. An email will be triggered automatically every couple of weeks (or whatever cadence you decide on) to those who subscribe.


Auto-responder nurture flows

This is for people downloading your key assets, visiting key website pages, showing any other type of behavior that matters to you.

These trigger-based drip campaigns listen for the behaviors that you decide on (i.e. visits pricing page, downloads an e-book, clicks on an ad, etc.). Choose 3 things you think the prospect needs to see after completing these behaviors, and set up a cadence of 3 emails to go out to the prospect every 3 or 4 days.


Inside sales text email nurture

This is a different approach that works well with cold leads. Set up text emails from the inside sales rep that looks like a direct note from them.

Collaborate with your inside sales reps to come up with some outbound messaging, as well as a follow up a few days later. Drop the prospect into a basic nurture campaign afterwards if no response.


These are just a few ideas to try when setting up email nurture campaigns. Marketing is a multi-channel, multi-touch business though, so think about syncing your messaging across different channels to your target personas, but that is a whole different post… stay tuned!


Originally published by me on LinkedIn: From Cold to Closed: 5 Types of Email Nurture Programs That Work | Masha Finkelstein | LinkedIn

If I had an unlimited budget, what kind of marketing automation and demand generation tools would I use? I will dream about my ideal world in this post...

#1. Marketing automation platform. My pick: Marketo

WHY: We live in a connected world driven by data. You need a system that will let you see all the data and make decisions based on it. A marketing automation platform will do just that - help you manage, analyze and execute all your programs in one place. Why is Marketo my favorite? The biggest pro is that it has a huge user community and tons of educational resources available online, has many integration partners and nice API that allows you to plug in to pretty much anything you want. It is also the leader in the space and plays well with other major (and minor) tools.

#2. Social media management platform. My pick: SproutSocial

WHY: You need a social media management system to save time, primarily, and to figure out what kind of messages resonate well with your audience. Why SproutSocial? It integrates with most commonly used social media platform, and not only allows scheduling messages directly from the platform, but also allows to reply to messages addressed to you, follow, and assign tasks to people on your team. It's easy to use and affordably priced.

#3. Website testing software. My pick: Optimizely

WHY: We (marketers) *think* we know what the best message is and what image looks the best on the website. But in reality, our target audience might disagree. Data is the best decision-making tool you'll ever had and for that you need to test different theories and see what performs the best (without compromising your brand, of course). Optimizely is budget friendly (hint: license cost starts at FREE), super easy to use, requires no deep programming skills and drives results. It also has multivariate testing and custom targeting.

#4. Website personalization software. My pick: Marketo RTP/DemandBase

WHY: When your target prospect comes to your site, you want to show them content that is relevant and personalized to them. Showing a generic message won’t drive high conversion rate and might ***** lose your prospects' interest quickly. The good thing about solutions such as Marketo RTP and DemandBase is that they are intelligent and learn from user behaviors an action. Consumer companies have been using personalization practices for a while but B2B marketing now have ways to borrow and take advtange of the same techniques.

#5. Webinar platform. My pick: ON24

WHY: Webinars are a channel that you might want to start as a test. It tends to be among the top 3 lead drivers for high tech companies (at least from my experience). Webinar platform needs to support all the things you want to do during the webinar, before, and after. Cross-platform integration is critical so you aren’t pulling your hair out trying to synchronize data or do it manually. ON24 has a smooth Marketo integration, great customizations- so you aren’t forced to use badly designed forms, good customer service and above all it is reliable. Last thing you want is your webinar to tap out mid-way through your presentation.

#5. Revenue analytics platform. My pick: Brightfunnel 2nd choice: Marketo RCA

WHY: You want to keep improving your campaigns and optimize them based on revenue generated. You need a way to look at the ROI and compare returns of your programs. Marketing campaigns are not linear and most of the time leads have multiple touches with your content, so the system you choose needs to be able to differentiate between first touch and multi-touch generated revenue. I really like Brightfunnel's platform - it has cool features like waterfall charts and is very easy to use and visualize the data. Marketo RCA is my 2nd choice, because it also has the right data, but in order for it to makes sense there is some prep work and ground work that you need to do in Marketo that is not obvious. RCA is also free once you reach a certain database size.

#6. RSS-based email digest. My pick: Digesto

WHY: Yes, you can send monthly newsletter manually every 4 weeks or so, but you can also automate it to your blog readers by letting them subscribe to an email digest of your latest blog posts. Digesto is my favorite, because it integrates well with Marketo, is easy to set up, and requires no attention from me once I get it rolling.

#7. Paid advertising management platform. My pick: AdStage

WHY: In day to day campaign management I spend a lot of time setting up ads on various channels, figuring out what the best campaigns are, pausing under-performing ads, and looking at click through rates. Without paid ad management system this takes a lot of time, because you need to login to every single channel, optimize them individually, remember which ad is running where, and what you need to pause. A tool like AdStage plugs into all of your systems at once (currently, they support Adwords, Twitter ads, Facebook ads, and LinkedIn ads) and pulls the data and ads into one place, which is extremely convenient and time saving.

#8. Predictive analytics platform. My pick: Everstring

WHY: Once you reach a certain lead volume you might hear sales ask for a prioritized way to follow up on leads. This is a good problem for any marketer but can often be confusing if done manually. Predictive lead scoring platform will take your historic data, figure out what kind of lead is the best lead and surface those leads to you and/or your sales team. Everstring would be my pick because their system uses Hadoop, which means it can process HUGE volume of signals in real time, they have a prospecting module, and are easy to use.

#9. Data enrichment software. My pick: DemandBase

WHY: When people come to your website and start filling out forms, you want to ask as few questions as possible, because conversion rate is highly correlated with the number of form fields. Data enrichment tools will populate the values in the fields that are not visible on the forms. For example, you can as email address, company name and full name and have the form enrichment software supplement that data with company size, industry, address, HQ phone number, etc. Why DemandBase - they have the most comprehensive lookup tech, not IP based like most others, which overall drives much better data quality. This will also help standardize company names in your database.


I hope you found this useful. I am constantly curious about latest cool technology out there, so let me know your thoughts and favorite tools that you use for marketing.


Originally posted on LinkedIn: 9 Marketing Technologies To Maximize ROI | Masha Finkelstein | LinkedIn

Are you thinking of joining a B2B startup in demand generation role? Or maybe you just started working at one? If so, this post is for you.

I've been through my fair share of startups and launched demand generation programs of various stages. I wanted to share the 5 types of programs that are almost guaranteed to add value (and ultimately revenue) to your organization.

  1. Focus on follower growth: Before you can really market a product, you need an audience to market to. Growing a base of loyal fans on social networks is relatively easy and does not require too much budget. Follower focused campaigns on Twitter, boosted posts targeting your persona on Facebook, and sponsored posts on LinkedIn are the basic tools you need to achieve this.
  2. Search engine marketing: Did you know you can launch Adwords campaigns with $0? Google often runs promotions and offers $50 coupons to get the campaigns started. Go in and set up just a couple of basic campaigns – your brand terms, competitors, and the top 5 keywords (don’t forget to use Google’s Keyword Tool to estimate volume and competition!)
  3. Basic nurture email drips: In your marketing automation system (which is a good idea to use from the very beginning, by the way) set up email drip campaigns to your database. The key here is to repurpose as much content as you can. Think blog posts, white papers, products data sheets, research articles mentioning your company, videos, anything you have. Write emails and organize them into streams based on common denominators (i.e. lead stage, target persona, whether there is an opportunity already, etc.). Set them up to go out every 3-4 weeks – that way you have more time to generate more content – once you have enough you can switch to every week or 2. Marketo has a special type of program just for email nurture – engagement program.
  4. A/B testing on the website: Need I say more?? Testing anything and everything you can think of will help your conversion rates. And when you go in to set up your tests – assume nothing. A lot of the times we think we know what our prospects want to see and will react to, but in reality it’s the opposite. Let the data drive the direction you take, not the complainers (i.e. your CEO who says “That button just looks wrong”). One of my favorite tools for this is Optimizely – there is a free starter level that you can sign up for.
  5. Retargeting campaigns: Retargeting users that come to your site and don’t convert works. They are already familiar with your brand and will recognize it if they see an ad somewhere. Click through rates on retargeting campaigns are 5-10 times higher than regular display campaigns (in my experience). Twitter ads now enables retargeting, so does Facebook and Adwords. There are also tools that specialize in retargeting – like AdRoll. When you start running retargeting campaigns – watch carefully your cost per click. It should range around $1-$5 depending on your industry. Above $10 is a red flag.

These are just a few ideas to get your started on your demand gen path. Have any other tips? Please share them in the comments.